I grew up in a steel mill town in the Laurel Highlands of the Appalachian Mountains. Being surrounded by beautiful rolling hills juxtaposed by bridges, railroads and industry greatly affected my design sensibility. My work is geometric, often mechanical and natural influences are stripped down to their core shapes.
When I was five years old, I announced to my parents that I was going to be an artist and as a high school student I discovered my passion for metals while making a large scale welded steel sculpture. Metal + Hammer + Fire = LOVE! At eighteen I moved to Philadelphia to attend art college, intending to concentrate my studies in sculpture but became entranced by jewelry making. After all, jewelry is small body sculpture, right? In 1993, I received a bachelor's degree in fine art from Tyler School of Art/Temple University.
After college I gained invaluable experience perfecting my skills working under a master goldsmith. During this period I worked on my own designs at night and on weekends and began selling at craft shows. In 1998, I was able to devote myself full-time to my own business.
I now make my home in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in South Carolina with my husband Ben Gilliam and our two sons and our cats. Ben, also a metal artist, teaches at the SC Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities.